Vision 2020 Tourism Initiative on Track
In November 2010, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism presented Vision 2020, the country’s goal to make Morocco one of the world’s top twenty tourism destinations. The strategy aims to double the size of the tourism sector and treble the number of national and international tourists, creating up to 147,000 new jobs – all by the year 2020. Concentrating on decentralization and an innovative approach to niche tourism, Vision 2020 would include the development of eight new tourism locations with the emphasis on sustainable tourism.
A recent report by the Oxford Business Group – an international business intelligence consultancy producing annual investment and economic reports on more than thirty countries – noted that Morocco is making progress toward its goal of welcoming 20 million tourists per annum by 2020, with a number of projects planned to promote private investment opportunities and increase the number of foreign visitors. The project has been boosted by private sector participation and is largely financed by the Moroccan Tourism Development Fund (FMDT), with input from the banking sector.
It was noted that in order for Vision 2020 to be successful, Morocco would need to look outside its borders for new partners. The proposed collaboration between Spain and Morocco, a public-private project called Nexotour, aims to develop tourism opportunities between eastern Andalusia and Morocco with particular attention being focused on the Spanish cities of Mallaga, Almera and Granada as well as the Moroccan regions of Nador, Oujda-Angad and Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate. Nexotour will reportedly be partnering with a number of private companies supporting the development of tourism related services, including hotels, tour operators and restaurants. The partnership between Spain and Morocco is likely to encourage visitors from Europe to experience this fascinating North African country.
While some have cited political upheaval in Morocco’s neighboring countries as an obstacle in reaching Vision 2020 goals, the country does not appear to have lost favor with tourists looking for the exotic beauty, natural biodiversity, ancient history and rich culture Morocco has to offer. Not to mention down-to-earth good value for money whether visitors are traveling on a shoestring budget, or can afford the luxuries on offer.